After around a decade, Kerala has once again hit the headlines on account of Love Jihad. This time, Vice Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) George Kurian has alleged that there are many cases of organised conversion of Christian women in Kerala. He said that these conversions are not into Islam but Islamic terrorism as in many cases, women were used as courier for terror activities. George Kurian has also written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah demanding a probe by National Investigation Agency (NIA) into these cases. He further added that Muslims are also objecting to it. George Kurian received two complaints about conversion of Christian women. He alleged that the ruling CPI(M) led LDF government is protecting the accused.
On the other hand, LDF government has rejected these allegations and criticised the NCM Vice Chairman for being part of a politically motivated campaign. The LDF convenor A Vijayaraghavan said, “Love Jihad is a terminology used by Hindu fundamentalists. If National Commission for Minorities has used this term, it means there is a politically motivated campaign going on in our country,”
It is remarkable that in Love jihad Muslim men woo non-Muslim women and compel them to convert to Islam. It rose to national attention in India in 2009 with alleged conversions first in Kerala and subsequently in Karnataka. In a query raised in Kerala Assembly debates, the then Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had said that a total of 7713 persons were converted to Islam between 2006 and 2012. As per the Kerala Catholic Bishops Conference’s Commission for Social Harmony and Vigilance around 4000 girls have been subjected to religious conversion from 2005 to 2012 after they fell in love.
Kurian said that according to another study, more than 2,600 women were converted to Islam between 2006 and 2009. He said that he got reports that around 40 or 50 of these women were from Kozhikode district. NCM Vice Chairman George Kurian and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) organised a protest march towards Kozhikode Commissioner’s office on September 23. Kurian said that Love Jihad is very much active in Kerala.
On being asked about Love jihad, Ashok Pandey, National spokesperson of Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha told Afternoon Voice, “It is Love Jihad. Hindus are being targeted on large scale across the country. We have been raising this issue for long time. Now Vice Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) George Kurian has raised this issue. It is good. The Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha is against any religious conversion. Government should come out with strict law to curb it.”
As per reports, a student of a Kerala polytechnic institute was arrested for allegedly raping his classmate and compelling her to convert to Islam. Kozhikode police arrested Mohammed Jasim under charges of rape, extortion and criminal intimidation. He is also charged of insulting a religion or its beliefs. She was involved in a two-year relationship with the accused. According to the girl, he had compelled her to convert to Islam if she wanted to marry.
In another incident, a Malayali Christian girl from Delhi was allegedly abducted to a West Asian country by Mohammad Siddiqui. The girl’s parents have expressed fear that she could have been misled or cheated of brainwashed or abducted and led astray with very nefarious designs such as joining an outfit such as the Islamic State (IS) or being used as a slave.
Kerala Congress leader PT Chacko said, “One or two incidents of conversion have happened in northern Kerala. Right now, it is not a big issue in the state. It is not going to affect the bypolls in the state. Congress party will take proper decision into this matter.”